SELDOM FAMILY “Cassette #1” C8 (Self-Released)

I didn’t get into Jawbreaker (btw, Seldom Family does not sound anything like Jawbreaker, like, at all) until I needed to. There’s this song, “Do You Still Hate Me”, on their album, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (Jawbreaker’s) that made me cry and cry after my first serious break up.

I have a deeply, deep, deeper than deepest association with Jimmy Eat World (who also does not remotely sound like Seldom Family) and a song they wrote about waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to come home ((to a house we’d cat-sat for)) whilst watching random headlights illuminate venetian blinds along pale, unadorned apartment walls. My newly-voting-age eyes rolled back and black whilst I mentally blew through congested stoplights, chasing ghosts of a person who would deservedly cheat on me.

The girlfriend following had lily-white parents who had parents’ parents’ parents’ who were proud of having come to America on the Mayflower. Or one of those ships. She wouldn’t let me help her cook decidedly decent vegan meals, but inspired me to walk around naked, for the first time in my budding (gross) adult life, in her apartment that her parents in Southwest Ohio paid for.

One of my favorite record stores was Ear-X-tacy, of which a friend back in SW/OH had appropriated/chop-screwed into purporting “aXE-yr cat” on his car’s bumper, and, truly, I’d drive two-plus hours down to see her, whilst listening to (bands that very much remind me of Seldom Family, specifically Red House Painters and Antarctica, an offshoot of Christie Front Drive’s), only to get lost in E or Ground Zero, a Louisville staple for random indie/punk 7” in the early Oughts.

She loved shitty emo (and so did I at the time, and, to some extent, still do), so we’d be listening to sad bastard music all weekend long, down in her basement apartment, and the time would go be very slow, almost as if we were underwater.

I’ve listened to this 2 song Seldom Family tape about thirty times now, while doing various things, and I still couldn’t sing you any songs. Not that they aren’t memorable or infectious, but the structures of the songs aren’t arranged in easy bite size ways for the mind to cough back up. They’re more like moody molasses mantras to get lost in, to slow the heart down, to slow motion headbang along with like seaweed. The sound is similar to RHP slow jams, but instead of Mark Kozelek singing stoically, a more impassioned soul-slinger has taken the helm and breathily belted out a calm distress signal from the void. Whatever the hell that means. Just listen to the damn tape if you get a chance. Clicky-clicky below.

- - Jacob An Kittenplan